Welcome change in the weather
The recent welcome change in the weather has seen the garden hit the fast forward button and everything seems to be growing before our very eyes. We are harvesting rhubarb by the trug load and it just keeps on coming. Our overwintering spinach plants, which looked so sad for so long, are suddenly lush and green and providing lots of leaves for the kitchen.
Newly planted crops such as shallots, brassicas, peas and beans have started to fill out and the leeks and parsnip seeds, sown several weeks ago are at last showing themselves. We are resisting getting too carried away with planting out plants that are not fully hardy, such as celery and celeriac, ever mindful that it is still April and we could get caught out again with cooler weather. We will hold off for another week or two and wait for May to arrive.
Inside the greenhouse we have now sown all of the summer crops that we like to get started off early under heat. In the past week we have sown our runner and climbing beans, sweetcorn, cucumbers, courgettes and squash. In previous years we have sown these earlier, but they outgrow pots so quickly and grow so fast, that we now prefer to hold off until a few weeks before we intend to plant them out.
Our greenhouse and cold frame are full of little plants ready to fill the gaps in the garden outside. The only thing missing is peppers., for some reason, our pepper seeds have refused to germinate this year, and we only have one sad, tiny seedling to show for our efforts. There is no explanation for the failure, but we find ourselves without any plants for one of our favourite crops. No drama though, just time to put our back up plan into action; ordering some organic plants. Despite growing most of our own crops and plants, we often make use of organic plug plants and love unpacking the box when they arrive. They are great for providing plants that you haven’t had the time or chance to grow, particularly in a year like 2018 when the weather has been against us.